Most people are hurting financially because the economy is so poor these days. People are cutting back on extras and entertainment, and have even had to cut back on other things. Living on a budget is hard enough, but when you throw children into the mix it can be downright difficult. These parenting tips can help parents and children live harmoniously and healthfully, even on a tight budget.
Cut Out the Fat
Most families spend money on unnecessary items at the grocery store. You can save money on spontaneous buys simply by making a grocery list. Check out the sales circulars and plan your meals in advance. Knowing what you will cook for the week will help you in making your list.
Both parents and children should be involved in the meal planning. This can be made into a game. Let the children look at the sales papers and find an inexpensive meal for the week. The kids will be pleased if they found a great deal, and he or she will be proud when the meal is served in the home. When parents and children work together for a specific goal, it greatly strengthens the child-parent relationship.
Ban the Beggars
It is doubtful that there is a person around who has not been in a supermarket and experienced the shrieks of “But Mommy, PLEASE – I want it”. It is not only annoying to the customers, but also embarrassing to the parent. This behavior is never acceptable, and certainly should not be rewarded.
Parents and children should sit down and talk about what the rules are while out shopping. Explain that you expect good behavior. It’s alright to tell the kids that if they behave properly while shopping, they can get a treat after the shopping is finished. The kids should also be aware of the consequences for inappropriate behavior. Remember, child discipline is necessary for bad behavior, while offering a reward for good behavior.
Go Easy on the Electric
One of the easiest ways to save money is on electricity. Both parents and children can do this with little effort. There are numerous ways to cut down on electricity that can be fun for both parents and children.
Many budget-conscious families enjoy having an electric free Saturday. This is easy to do and really a lot of fun. The only real rule is that nothing that uses electricity can be used for the whole day. This opens up a world of great activities that parents and children would rarely try.
A lot of Dad’s love barbequing, so only cook meals on the grill. It’ll be lots of fun for the kids to see Dad getting all three meals cooked on the grill. Snacks such as s’mores and toasted marshmallows can be made on the grill too. Most parents and children think food on the grill is awesome.
During the day, you can play board games, have races or just talk. These things will all improve the child-parent relationship. You can even go for a walk or plant a garden, as long as nothing the parents and children do requires electricity.
At night, you can play flashlight tag, hide-and-seek or simply tell stories by the glow of candles. This old-fashioned way of having fun will not only save money, but also makes the child-parent relationship stronger.
As with everything, you may want to have a penalty for using electricity. Even though an electricity-free Saturday is fun, you may want to resort to child discipline for violations of electric use. Many parents feel that using child discipline during a fun outing will harm the child-parent relationship. This is not true. It simply shows the child that rules must always be followed, and there will always be consequences for violating the rules.